Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In the Kitchen: Tofu Spinach Lasagna

I know, I said tofu, but don't be scared. If you're one of those people whose gag reflex is induced at the sheer sound of the word, give me a chance to change that. In this recipe, the tofu is a healthier alternative to what would normally be ricotta cheese, which I've never been too fond of (except in pancakes, but that's another post…) and trust me, no one will ever know the difference.

And while you can certainly call this lasagna homemade, the use of a few convenience products make this dish a breeze to whip up any night of the week. Want to beef it up for the carnivores in your life? Add some cooked chicken or sliced sausage before baking. Read on for the recipe and find a printable recipe card at the end of this post.

12 oz. Soft Silken Tofu
1 1/4 cup (5 oz) shredded mozzarella (divided use)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
14 oz can diced tomatoes (I use salt free)
14 oz can cream of tomato soup
8 oz can tomato paste
6 sheets lasagna noodles*
6 oz fresh spinach
8 oz fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

*You can use regular or no cook (oven ready) lasagna noodles. I use whole wheat noodles that need to be boiled before using because I can't find oven ready wheat ones. If you use no cook noodles, just take them right from the box to the pan and skip the boiling.

Preheat the oven to 350° and a coat a 13" x 9" baking pan with cooking spray.

If using noodles that need to be boiled, get those started while you prepare the filling and sauce. They usually need to boil for about ten minutes.

To prepare the sauce, heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a medium saucepan and saute the minced garlic until fragrant, about 2 minutes or so. Add the can of diced tomatoes with their juice and cook until they are about half broken down. Add the cans of tomato soup and tomato paste, reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

In the meantime you can prepare the filling. In a medium mixing bowl, use a fork to combine the tofu, 1 cup of the mozzarella, lemon juice, salt and pepper until it is broken up and well blended.

To assemble the lasagna, spread about 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Lay three sheets of pasta in the dish, leaving a bit of space around each one. Spread the tofu mixture evenly over the noodles then top with a layer of spinach and a layer of mushrooms.

Place the three remaining sheets of pasta on top of the vegetables, followed by the remaining sauce, 1/4 cup mozzarella and the 1/2 cup parmesan.

Cover with foil and bake for about 35 minutes until heated through and bubbly. Remove the foil and bake another 5 - 10 minutes until the cheese starts to brown and bubble. Let stand about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

I made this dish fairly light on the cheese, which I prefer. It leaves you feeling full and satisfied without that weighed down feeling. You can, however, add a layer of cheese inside on top of the veggies or add more to the top if that's how you like it!

It's also a thin lasagna, but makes a good amount to serve about 5 - 6 (depending on your appetite :). If you'd like a bigger batch, simply double the filling, add an extra can of diced tomatoes to the sauce, cook an additional three sheets of pasta and add an extra layer. Also as I mentioned in the beginning of the post, try adding some cooked chicken or sliced sausage before baking for the meat eaters in your household. Hope you enjoy! I'd love to hear what you think of the tofu.

And find more easy and delicious recipes here.


rachel said...

Mmm! I'm already a lover of tofu, but if I wasn't, I think this would definitely convince me to give it a try :)

Sydney said...

I think it looks great!

Kristina said...

Looks really yummy, but I actually like ricotta, so I have the feeling I would in fact miss it. I've tried tofu-subbing recipes before and I can always taste the beancurdiness of the bean curd. Are you sure it's fully hidden?

teedle. said...

I have always loved lasagna. But when I turned vegan I found that I love lasagna ever more! I make my "ricotta" with tofu, fresh basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. While I miss *sort of* the oozey cheese, vegan lasagna is pretty much amazing.
What a lovely recipe and pictures =)

lillyella said...

Hey Kristina! I find that by incorporating shredded mozzarella in with the tofu - it really does makes it very hard to even tell the difference at all. Also, the fresh lemon juice is important - even though its a small amount - don't skip it. You can also add additional seasonings or fresh herbs in there - such as basil or parsley. And be sure its the soft silken tofu. Im not just saying because Im used to eating it, I really think it's a great substitute!

jacqueline said...

WOW this looks sooo yummie!! I will have to give this a try!! Thanks so much for sharing! :) Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!

alexkeller said...

and i think the pictures turned out great!
would you believe that i still have Lori's lasagne recipe from high school? :)

Gifted Designs said...

I am sitting here drooling...:) This is definitely something to try this Sunday if I can! My issue is finding the silken tofu, but I think I have an Asian market near my house...:D